If you are a non- believer, why be moral when no one is looking?

If you are a non- believer in, all that you do is being recorded in the heavens, why be moral when no one is looking?

If there are no records and no witness, why not do anything you want?


If no one sees you do it, then is it a deed not done?


If all of this is true, then why do we have a conscience, where did it come.


We are told in scriptures that our conscience is our natural way of doing God's will in the absence of his Law.

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This is a common question. 

I have thought this one over in depth and usually tend to answer it this way:


If a little boy obeys his father and doesn't hit his sister just so that he doesn't get spanked with his father's belt, does that make the little boy righteous?


Of course not! He's only interested in himself. He doesn't think about or care about the suffering he may cause his sister if he hits her... he's just worried that he might end up with a red, painful buttocks.


On the other hand, let's say that a little boy's father has told him not to hit his sister and then leaves the house. The little boy is alone with his sister. If he hits her now, no one will see and she won't be able to prove it. This little boy decides not to hit his sister because he knows that hitting her will cause her pain. He doesn't think it's right to cause her pain.


Is this little boy righteous?



He decided not to hit his sister, not because he was concerned about punishment, but because he saw her as a fellow human being who can feel pain just like he can and he decided not to because he cared about HER and not just about himself.


The same thing goes for atheists. We may not have a god in the sky keeping tally of our wrong-doings,  but, we do not do evil things because we care about other people's suffering. We may not be punished for our sins, but someone will feel pain. That in itself is an effective deterrent from evil.

The operative here is still a conscience of which I contend is created by God. Animals do not evolve a conscience in a survival of the fittest scheme. This is a perplexing enigma among many social scientist. 

Then it depends on how you want to define conscience. Even a group of monkeys have been observed to have a sense of fairness. If that's not evidence of conscience, what would you rather call it?

Um.... is that just your stock answer for everything?

It's all he can type while holding his ears and going "LaLaLa! I can't hear you!!!"

No. no no. I am not speaking about conscience, but about empathy. Empathy is the ability to look at another person and "put yourself in their shoes" or more specifically to "feel for them." It is also the source of compassion. Sociopaths are the perfect example of what happens to a person who has no empathy... they do not care about anyone but themselves. Empathy is a human instinct that is programmed into the NORMAL human brain from at least infancy. An infant child can feel a primitive level of empathy, they do seem to notice when someone is unhappy, and if it is someone close to them, they seem to care on some level. The first little boy in my "parable" showed no empathy toward his sister. He didn't care about her, but only about himself. The second little boy was empathetic, he saw his sister as another human being with feelings.

It's not a perplexing enigma, because it's not true. We have no idea if animals have a conscience or not, but we know for a fact that they can follow altruistic codes and desire to help others, even if there is no clear advantage for themselves. Contend all you like, but you need to start offering proof for your position or STFU.

Is the general consensus that most atheist are righteous ?

Can we establish this statistically?

I believe that most people who defined themselves as Christian are actually not righteous at all.


Atheists are not "righteous"


Righteousness (also called rectitude) is an important theological concept in Zoroastrianism, Hinduism (dharma), Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is an attribute that implies that a person's actions are justified, and can have the connotation that the person has been "judged" or "reckoned" as leading a life that is pleasing to God.


So no atheists are not righteous.


We do, however, have very high standards of proof, evidence, knowledge and yes morals- especially compared to the "righteous"


Is the general consensus that most atheist are righteous ?

Can we establish this statistically?

Just look at the prison demographics in the US -  http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm

  • Percentage of atheists less that 1%
  • Percentage of christians - almost 75%

That statistic good enough for you?

Ah, yes, good enough for me. Good one Akshay

More stats:

Liberals and Atheists Smarter? Intelligent People Have Values Novel in Human Evolutionary History, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Feb. 24, 2010) — More intelligent people are statistically significantly more likely to exhibit social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history. Specifically, liberalism and atheism, and for men (but not women), preference for sexual exclusivity correlate with higher intelligence, a new study finds.


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